May Day Anti-Nazi Demonstration

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On May Day there is going to be a Nazi parade from Bornholmer Strasse, probably (according to the very reliable BZ site) to Landsberger Allee.

 

A mass rally is planned against them, to block their way (the same way done recently in Dresden).

 

More information (in German) is available from http://www.1-mai-nazifrei.tk/

 

However, I have a question for those already in the know: where should I go, that would both effective and non-violent? I might come with my kids and I obviously don't want them to be exposed to violence of any kind. Where would the "regular" people stand?

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Regular people would stand as far away from the demonstration as is feasibly possible. Maybe Munich?

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? I might come with my kids and I obviously don't want them to be exposed to violence of any kind. Where would the "regular" people stand?

 

Due to the dynamics of left/right demonstrations there is no "safe zone". If you go you need to keep an open eye and react fast.

If you bring your kids you have to live with the fact that they could be exposed to violence. It's not unlikely actually.

If you bring them, they will be exposed to stuff you can't control. At best to cursing and yelling. Worst scenario: Black block -><- you ->< -Police.

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That's a sure way to get your ass kicked. Why would you want to associate with extremists?

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You should be safe if you go to one of the organized marches during the day. The violence tends to break out after nightfall.

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Toko is completely right. Left/right demonstrations are exciting to watch, but the only really safe place to watch them from is on the TV. The closest you could come to a safe place to watch the action as it happens would be an apartment window four or five floors above street level. At street level, they can deteriorate very quickly into serious violence, even the ones that claim to be peaceful. I got caught up in the start of the leftist demonstrations at Kotti last year: my friends and I were leaving Maifest around dusk to avoid the rioters, but suddenly we found ourselves in the situation Toko mentioned: rioters___us___police. While we got away ok, it was scary and dangerous for those few minutes. The only advice I could give you is that left/right demonstrations are not a safe place for children. Maifest in Kreuzberg is great during the day, but make sure you leave well before sunset, and avoid Kottbusser Tor on your way home.

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My personal view is that there's really only a degree of separation between the anti-fa and hitler-fan-boys - being racist or not. Both groups believe in violence as a means to an end and I wouldn't want to hang out with any of them (albeit with an Asian ethnic background I'd rather be in a group of anti-fa than neo-nazis).

 

Maybe buy some street chalk sticks and write some nice friendly messages on the roads or make a banner with your kids and hang it up somewhere along their demo route. Could read something like:

 

Ich glaube so viel an Freiheit und Demokratie dass, ich eure Intoleranz toleriere. or the classic

Frieden und Liebe!

 

You could do it before the demo so that you're home - or somewhere else in Berlin - safe should the crap hit the fan. It's just that being 1. Mai everyone might be looking for a little bit of 'preliminary fun' before they head to Kotti.

 

If you are still interested in going and taking your kids at least have a read of ExBerliner's May Day for Dummies piece and the May Day Survival Tips link.

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I don't know what the 'Mayday' has got to do with fighting against Nazis.

 

A demonstration against bad labour conditions, against working overtime unpaid, and for minimum wages would be reasonable.

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I don't know what the 'Mayday' has got to do with fighting against Nazis.

 

During the Third Reich in Germany, May 1st was declared the "National Holiday of the German People" instead of International Workers Day - the workers were paid off by giving them a paid holiday on May 1st. This day back then was celebrated with parades by e.g. Wehrmacht, SA, SS, DAF, HJ and BDM, hence the connection.

Additionally, in university towns, extreme-right-wing conservative fraternities (factual or perceived) have some quirky traditions such as "singing into the May" with the first verse of the national hymn ("Deutschland, Deuschland über alles...").

 

Reason enough to smash em.

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I'm going to stay in and finish my Swastika quilt, pictures to follow..

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Apparently the main theme of the day falls under the motto "End the crisis - Abolish Capitalism" ... why the hell would I want to go marching, possibly getting my arsed kicked/arrested alongside the Che Guevara t-shirt wearing anarchist clichés, and under such a naïve message? Do these people really think capitalism is really going away ever? If they don't like it I suggest they go to North Korea to see how you get on with communism. I'm guessing the people on the march who really believe all this half-baked rubbish are probably the same punk & 2 dogs crowd who stand inside the foyer of a bank opening the doors for people in exchange for money whilst no-doubt completely missing the irony.

 

But all-in-all I think the main benefit of May 1st, is that you get all the left/right mentals to save up their anger and scorn up for one single day of the year, get them all marching en-mass like sheep, making your arrests where necessary, leaving 364 days of relative calm.

 

Thank god for days with labels.

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During the Third Reich in Germany, May 1st was declared the "National Holiday of the German People" instead of International Workers Day - the workers were paid off by giving them a paid holiday on May 1st. This day back then was celebrated with parades by e.g. Wehrmacht, SA, SS, DAF, HJ and BDM, hence the connection.Additionally, in university towns, extreme-right-wing conservative fraternities (factual or perceived) have some quirky traditions such as "singing into the May" with the first verse of the national hymn ("Deutschland, Deuschland über alles...").Reason enough to smash em.

 

The Brits also still sing anthems about Britain and the Queen. The Americans too. Every country has such songs.

 

And I think they also celebrated Christmas during the 3rd Reich. Is that a reason to abolish Christmas? They also had Olympic Games back then. Are they nazi games for that reason?

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I agree with toko. I was thinking before of popping over to berlin on saturday to see what it was all about but not sure now, will probably hang around in leipzig and see if anything's going on here. I'm not extreme left, although I was at one of the anti-nazi blockades in dresden in february with another couple of TTers and a few other people and I really felt it was worth it. Like you, I was mostly just curious about this stuff and wanted to see it.

 

As far as I saw the blockades in the morning and afternoon were essentially peaceful, and there was of course a huge police presence. Mostly it was a few thousand people standing or sitting around in the cold for hours talking and drinking cups of tea. Young and old people alike, just normal people like you'd see on the street. Of course the black block kids were there and occasionally throwing snowballs at the riot police and looking menacing, but the bulk of the blockade was a pretty serene affair. There was a hairy moment where we were walking up the street to check out where some smoke at the end was coming from (some of the antifa had set fire to a bin or car apparently), when everyone started running towards us after the police charged at them and used the tear gas and water cannons on them - we took a side street to go to a friend's flat to meet with the rest of our group and literally had riot police running at our small group from both directions with their batons drawn. They passed by us fortunately after one of the german speakers shouted at them asking where they expected us to go.

 

A few burnt out cars in the street on the walk back and another surreal moment at the train station with more protesters throwing bottles at the police and kicking the windows in the foyer, but like I said the bulk of it was pretty sedate. My german and my motivation aren't good enough right now to do the research on this, but check out how many thousands of people go to this kind of thing and how few actually get injured or arrested. I think you'll see that you're still pretty safe at an event like this as long as you take common sense precautions. You're never completely safe. Of course there's some additional risk at a protest over a standard day at work, and if you can't accept that simply stay at home. If you're curious about this kind of event and are prepared to acknowledge there's a small chance of you getting hurt I think it can be an educational experience.

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The Brits also still sing anthems about Britain and the Queen. The Americans too. Every country has such songs.

 

And I think they also celebrated Christmas during the 3rd Reich. Is that a reason to abolish Christmas? They also had Olympic Games back then. Are they nazi games for that reason?

 

You don't understand. It's nothing to argue about. As a matter of fact, German may day traditionally(!) contains the confrontation of left and right and the police.

There's the workers union stuff going on, but also alot of confrontation and provocation of different groups.

 

And no German sings the first lines of the Deutschlandlied without second thoughts. Not one.

The original meaning of "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles" was "the idea of a nation (as in unity) above all". the Nazis pretty much used it as Deutschland above all (others), as in chauvinism.

 

It's not about abolishing anything, but you should understand that German mayday is special. It is about fighting for alot of people, if you like it or not.

 

Btw the police expect more violence and burning cars than in the last years. And my feeling says they're right. It's a pilgrimage to HH and B on mayday.

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The Brits also still sing anthems about Britain and the Queen. The Americans too. Every country has such songs.

Singing the first verse of the Deutschlandlied will brand you as a Nazi or at minimum as national-conservative (same thing in lay terms really, as far as Antifascism is concerned), even if a district court a couple years ago decided that the act of singing it is not illegal (anymore; it was illegal after '45).

 

 

They also had Olympic Games back then. Are they nazi games for that reason?

The '36 games definitely were, and will always remain a dark smudge on the Olympic Games. More so than Munich '72.

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Btw the police expect more violence and burning cars than in the last years. And my feeling says they're right. It's a pilgrimage to HH and B on mayday.

 

The parade during the day in Berlin which always took off a bit of the heat also won't happen today. Meaning people will turn to ... other venues for fun.

 

Btw, there'll already be a Antifa demo on April 30th at 5 pm at S-Bahnhof Schöneweide. Sort of a warm-up, against a Nazi-owned bar.

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@ toko

 

you must be precise. In West Germany it might always have been a turmoil day. Not so in East Germany. It was a really happy holiday here. At least up to 1989.

 

And I don't understand the Deutschlandlied as a song to conquest the world. But I'm obviously the only one.

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The GDR doesn't exist anymore, the Bundesrepublik does. And before WW2 it was a traditional turmoil day, too. I wouldn't call the sanitized GDR Festtag a tradition.

 

And the mayday traditions nowadays are western. Union demos and some riff raff here and there.

And like Kato said, the first verse will brand you and it will lighten up some people around you, especially on mayday.

Sing it and be at the receiving end.

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